Disciples News Service

Archive: December 2011

A Prayer for the New Year

O God of infinite creativity . . .

At the beginning of this New Year – winter for so many – the rich brown earth is even now preparing to burst forth with a spring of possibilities and new life.

Though the human eye cannot see it, you continue to bless the earth with new beginnings.

We praise you!

Bless us with new beginnings, we pray.

Where we have lost sight of your Reign breaking in – even now at hand – 
     Renew our vision.

Where we have faltered in reaching out to our neighbor in love, missing the moment to extend a hand of wholeness,
     Renew our courage.

Where we have allowed cynicism to dry our bones and sinews,
     Renew our hope.

At this beginning of a New Year, dear God, our arms are still warm from cradling the Babe of Bethlehem.

Help us to keep that memory strong.

Strengthen our arms to welcome your many children into communities of love.

Prepare our hearts to burst forth with a spring of possibilities and new life.

Stir us to be and share your love with the same vulnerability, the same humble expectation that brought you into the world in person.

Help us, your church, your disciples, to be harbingers of your reign of justice and of peace fully emerged.

O God of infinite creativity, at the beginning of this New Year, we know that you are about to do a new thing. Help us to perceive it. And to join in.

In the name of Jesus, your greatest new beginning, we pray.
AMEN

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Posted on December 28, 2011
Filed under: Sharon's Blog
A Word of Hope from a Partner

Through the Division of Overseas Ministries/Global Ministries, we Disciples partner with churches and church leaders around the world. One of those partners is Bishop Munib A. Younan, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. He lives in Jerusalem and currently serves as President of the Lutheran World Federation.

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Posted on December 20, 2011
Filed under: Sharon's Blog
As veterans come home ? now it?s our turn

US military involvement in Iraq has quietly come to an end, but the impact of this engagement will continue long in the lives of many. We are especially mindful of US military personnel who have served and those who are just returning home and their families. May we commit ourselves to their care.

Our Church has been present with our service personnel in combat, on military bases, and in hospitals through our military chaplains. These Disciples ministers volunteer to go unarmed even into the heat of combat, to offer ministry in the most extreme and dangerous circumstances imaginable. I pray for these servants who are among the most courageous and compassionate men and women on the face of the earth.

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Posted on December 16, 2011
Filed under: Sharon's Blog
Pension Fund board meets

The board of directors of the Pension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met November 10-11. During their meeting, they honored three board members who completed terms of services, welcomed new board members and approved a revised Pension Plan document for ratification by the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). […]

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Posted on December 15, 2011
Filed under: General Ministries
Nichols to serve as Global Ministries mission personnel executive

In January, former missionary Cathy Nichols will begin her work as Global Ministries mission personnel executive, responsible for recruiting, appointing, and training missionaries. Nichols was a Global Ministries missionary for eight years with the Sabeel Ecumenical Center in Jerusalem. She is a member of First Christian Church in Tucson, Ariz. To read more, visit: globalministries.org/news/staff-board-news/cathy-nichols.html

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Posted on
Filed under: General Ministries
"New Day for Christians" available from Chalice Press

New Day for Christians, the mission-focused small group study guide produced by Chalice Press, is available for pre-order with no billing until January. The 2012 edition, “That’s the Point: Hungry, Thirsty, Filled,” focuses on water missions around the globe. New Day includes prayer-based Bible study, balances spiritual development with mission empowerment, and provides ways for […]

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Posted on
Filed under: General Ministries, Resources
Gillett installed as seminary's 17th president

Observing that hope “is more than wishful thinking,” the Rev. Charisse L. Gillett called upon those who work in and alongside Lexington Theological Seminary to support its efforts to meet the needs of students and congregations. Gillett’s remarks came during her installation service as the seminary’s 17th president, on December 4. To read more about […]

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Posted on
Filed under: Higher Education
Disciples represented at global peace and justice gathering

The Rev. Robert K. Welsh, Disciples’ ecumenical officer, participated in a day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for global peace and justice in Assisi, Italy, called together by Pope Benedict XVI. The event involved 300 religious leaders from around the world, continuing a tradition initiated by Pope John Paul II in Assisi 25 years ago. […]

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Posted on
Filed under: Ecumenical
2012 Laity Sunday resources available

Week of the Laity, January 22-28, will continue the 2011 General Assembly “Tell It” theme. Resources include a Bible story library, music library, worship models and video examples. Laity Sunday celebrates the diverse gifts laypeople bring to ministry both within and outside the walls of the church. To download Laity Sunday resources from Disciples Home […]

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Filed under: Resources
Small business tax credit for church employers

On December 2, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service announced that the Small Business Tax Credit included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is available to churches and other small employers that obtain coverage through self-funded denominational church health plans like Churchwide Health Care. Since churches usually do not file tax forms with the […]

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Filed under: Congregations, Resources